Thursday evening last week we hosted a nice information and lively networking session with the Acumen Fund on their East African Fellows Program at the Innovation Space. Acumen Fund’s Tanzanian representative and Portfolio Associate Afshin Ghassmi welcomed the participants and handed over to Portfolio Manager Maurice Nduranu who introduced the Acumen Fund.
Acumen Fund is a social venture capital fund investing patient capital in enterprises that sustainably serve the poor. They make large-scale investments in enterprises already on the field with business ideas that have great potential for social impact and moderate long-term financial returns. Check out all the details from Maurice’s presentation slides.
Acumen Fund has a grand vision of making an impact on the lives of over 150 million people living under $4 a day by 2015 and changing the way the world tackles poverty! A goal like this needs a new generation of change-makers and leaders and this is where the Global and Regional Fellows Programs come in.
Suraj Sudhakar, Acumen Fund’s Regional Fellows Manager, explained in his presentation that the East Africa Fellows Program trains and supports emerging leaders as they realize their visions for a better East Africa. The program is based on Acumen’s leadership model: moral imagination combined with financial and operational skills. The Fellows will be coached by world-class instructors and internationally renowned guest speakers, but perhaps the most important resource in implementing their ideas will the global network of peer Fellows and Acumen’s partner organizations. Participation in the Fellows Program is free-of-charge and Acumen will cover travel costs within East Africa for participation in training seminars*. More details in Suraj’s presentation slides.
The East African Fellows Program is currently open for applications for the second time. On the first round there weren’t any applications from Tanzania, so this time they decided to organize this information session and encourage Tanzanians to apply. Both Suraj and Afshin said they will be very happy to provide more information for people interested in applying to the Program so feel free to contact them. UPDATED: Deadline for applications is August 26th, so you still have time to prepare your application!
Before closing the session Afshin also asked the participants whether there was interest to establish a monthly meeting or idea & information exchange forum for discussing business ideas with social impact in Dar. Afshin could organize and invite the meeting together the first couple of times, so if you’re interested, let Afshin know. 😉
See all photos from the event gallery.
*Corrected: Original post said travel costs within East Africa would not be covered, but they are.